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industry : know when oil is passing through the pipeline. One way to solve that problem is to add a radioactive tracer to the oil. Each company would be assigned a different tracer. A technician at the receiving end of the pipeline can use a Geiger counter to make note of changes in radiation observed in the incoming oil. Such a change would indicate that oil for a different company was being received. agriculture :find out how plants use some nutrient such as phosphorus. The scientist could feed a group of plants fertilizer that contains radioactive phosphorus. As the plant grows, the location of the phosphorus could be detected by use of a Geiger counter. medicine : Suppose that a physician suspects that a person's thyroid gland is not functioning properly. To investigate that possibility, the patient can be given a glass of water containing sodium iodide (similar to sodium chloride, or table salt). The iodine in the sodium iodide is radioactive. As the patient's body takes up the sodium iodide, the path of the compound through the body can be traced by means of a Geiger counter or some other detection device.